Full Blog

Leaving more social media

Recently I posted that I had decided to leave twitter, and I’m glad about that. But that decision made me wonder why I was still on any of the other so called ‘social networks’ ? These days they rarely feel social, more anti-social. So I am off almost all of the major networks now, and life feels better as a result.

Escape from New York

I first saw this movie when I was in my early teens. It made a very big impression on me, as did the soundtrack. Since then I’ve watched it a few times.

Recently I have found myself listening to the main theme track so I decided to buy a copy of the DVD. It is still good, at least it is in my opinion anyway. I remembered most of the movie, so nothing really came as a surprise. I actually think that the original movie is better than the remake in 1996, although I did enjoy that too, albeit to a lesser degree.

After watching the original I kept hearing the theme tune for days, so when it turned up on record store day I knew I had to get it.

It’s a lovely record and a great piece of music, from a great film.

Thumby has arrived

You may remember that I posted about this a little while ago. Finally it has arrived, in a somewhat inauspicious package, but arrived nevertheless.

Of course, it is tiny, really tiny. Actually thumb sized.

And it comes in a tiny box too. Yes I bought two of them.

I had thought that it would be so small that I wouldn’t be able to read the screen at all, but I can, just about, and I even managed to play one of the games that comes pre-loaded.

This gives you an idea of the size of the thing.

It even makes a very tiny sound too. At this point I have no idea what I will do with it. I had been trying for a very long time to not buy any tech that I had no use for, and this is certainly a piece of tech that I have no use for. I am no gamer at all, so playing games is not something that I will be doing much of, but perhaps I will find a way to make it useful. If not it’ll find it’s way on to eBay in a few months.

The Wire at 40

I have been a subscriber of The Wire for quite some time. Sometimes with breaks, but on the whole a fairly loyal subscriber. I can say that I have enjoyed The Wire on the whole for some twenty years now. I can’t say that I have always understood or made sense of it, and often the music they rate highly does nothing for me. However, that is not the point of The Wire for me, not at all.

I find it at times incredible to see the enormous variety of music produced across the world and The Wire is my window onto that world. Sure, sometimes it is music that does nothing for me, but that doesn’t matter at all. The fact that it is made is what is important.

Every year I read their top albums of the year, and I’m always pleased if I’ve heard three of them. Most years it is less than three though. Even so, each year I do my best to listen to as many of the albums in their chart as possible. It’s always an interesting time.

Thank you Apple

I have had an iPhone 8 for a few years now, and, as with these kind of devices, the battery fades away over time. I decided that I would rather keep this device, as, for the most part, I have little or no need for anything more right now. So I thought I would try to get the battery replaced. I got booked in to the Apple store at Covent Garden and took it in. The staff told me that it would take about an hour.

I went off and got a drink and wandered back to the Apple store to pick it up. Sadly though, Apple had managed to break the phone whilst trying to replace the battery. I was a bit shocked to be honest. They had said when I left it that they might end up wiping the device, but not that they could break it.

However, to make up for this, they have replaced it entirely. Not with a newer device, but with a new iPhone 8. Which is nice. Of course this meant restoring everything to the new device, and that takes time.

Overall this was a good experience, although for the most part a little annoying as I am still restoring things to the new phone, but for the price of a new battery I got a new phone. Not bad really.

The Langham Research Centre at Cafe Oto

I first saw the Langham Research Centre at the Barbican last month. I was really impressed by them. So when I got an email from Cafe Oto sent an email about them playing I decided I should go. Cafe Oto is a lovely place to see music, and I even played there once myself.

The LRC were great, as expected, and I also managed to have a quick chat with Robert Worby about sound and the words we use to describe sounds, or rather the fact that we have very few words that actually do describe sounds. It’s an interesting subject and one that needs some thought.

Next I think I need to probably buy some of the recordings. There is plenty on Bandcamp, which is where I will start. I am especially drawn to their piece ‘Gateshead Multi-storey Car Park’.

Goodbye Sony Clie

A little while ago I posted about trying to make old technology useful again, and specifically, useful to me rather than in some general sense. The first device in my list, was a Sony Clie NX73V. This is a lovely device, a lovely piece of engineering, and, in its day, an incredibly useful.

I tried a variety of things (mainly software) to make it useful, but, in the end, I had to concede that I had no real use for it whatsoever. Which is a shame. However, on the upside, I sold it to someone who had always wanted one. Which is great.

Fifteen years of Nouvelle Vague

When I first heard Nouvelle Vague I was really amazed. I remember it clearly. It was at WOMAD and they were playing ‘Blue Monday’. Of course it didn’t sound like ‘Blue Monday’. I knew all the words but I could not for the life of me think of what the song was.

Since them I’ve seen them a few times live and have always enjoyed their music, or rather the music they play. So I was looking forward to seeing them again, especially at Union Chapel, which is such an amazing venue.

But I’m sad to say I found them less than inspiring. Firstly there were only four of them and no bass player at all. Their selection of songs was poor. There were some good songs, and in fact they made a good start, but after that it was a little dull. I have no idea if anyone else there had similar thoughts, and there were a lot of people there.

I still like a lot of what they’ve done over the years, but for now, I doubt I’ll go to see them again.